Filed Under: Business

Penn Wharton students scolded for thinking average US worker makes six figures

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It looks like some Wharton School students need a lesson on the real world. They go to one of the best business schools in the country, but one professor’s prompt proves some of these aspiring business leaders are already out of touch.

When professor Nina Strohminger asked her students what the average American worker makes in a year, she tweeted that 25% of them thought it was over six figures and one even answered $800,000. The answers baffled even her and the tweet went viral.

The actual average sits around $55,629, according to the Social Security Administration.

Data from the New York Times explains where these students are coming from. Looking at University of Pennsylvania as a whole, not just the Wharton School, one in every five students comes from a family in the top 1%. The data also reveals that the median family income at the university is $195,500.

Strohminger, an assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics, pointed out she doesn’t think this is just a Wharton problem, but a sign many don’t really realize how large the gap is between rich and poor.

Wharton’s website shows Strohminger’s current course is titled Ethics and Social Responsibility.

SIMONE DEL ROSARIO: LOOKS LIKE SOME WHARTON STUDENTS NEED A LESSON ON THE REAL WORLD…BECAUSE NO, THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WORKER DOES NOT MAKE 800-K.

THEY GO TO ONE OF THE BEST BUSINESS SCHOOLS IN THE COUNTRY BUT ONE PROFESSOR’S PROMPT PROVES SOME OF THESE ASPIRING BUSINESS LEADERS ARE ALREADY OUT OF TOUCH.

WHEN PROFESSOR NINA STROHMINGER ASKED HER STUDENTS WHAT THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WORKER MAKES IN A YEAR, SHE SAYS 25% OF THEM THOUGHT IT WAS OVER SIX FIGURES AND ONE EVEN ANSWERED $800,000. THE ANSWERS BAFFLED EVEN HER AND THE TWEET WENT VIRAL.

THE ACTUAL AVERAGE, FOR YOU INQUIRING MINDS, SITS AROUND $55,000, ACCORDING TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION. 

DATA FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES EXPLAINS WHERE THESE STUDENTS ARE COMING FROM. LOOKING AT UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA AS A WHOLE, NOT JUST WHARTON: 1 IN EVERY 5 STUDENTS COMES FROM A FAMILY IN THE TOP 1%. AND THE MEDIAN PARENT INCOME? $195,500. 

THE PROFESSOR OF BUSINESS ETHICS POINTED OUT SHE DOESN’T THINK THIS IS JUST A WHARTON PROBLEM, BUT A SIGN MANY DON’T REALLY REALIZE HOW LARGE THE GAP IS BETWEEN RICH AND POOR.

I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO. FROM NEW YORK IT’S JUST BUSINESS.

It looks like some Wharton School students need a lesson on the real world. They go to one of the best business schools in the country, but one professor’s prompt proves some of these aspiring business leaders are already out of touch.

When professor Nina Strohminger asked her students what the average American worker makes in a year, she tweeted that 25% of them thought it was over six figures and one even answered $800,000. The answers baffled even her and the tweet went viral.

The actual average sits around $55,629, according to the Social Security Administration.

Data from the New York Times explains where these students are coming from. Looking at University of Pennsylvania as a whole, not just the Wharton School, one in every five students comes from a family in the top 1%. The data also reveals that the median family income at the university is $195,500.

Strohminger, an assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics, pointed out she doesn’t think this is just a Wharton problem, but a sign many don’t really realize how large the gap is between rich and poor.

Wharton’s website shows Strohminger’s current course is titled Ethics and Social Responsibility.

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